Floating To The Top

“I pledge my talent, my time and my tenacity,” R. Stephen Green said when named superintendent.

He doesn’t predict that his actions as superintendent will change now that he’s signed a contract. Instead, Green said, the permanency of the position is sure to revitalize his staff.

“We’ll turn up the dial a bit in terms of the energy we bring to the table,”  he said.

“I’m here for the long haul and that’s what I can assure parents,” he said. “This constant rollover, instability, inconsistency, will come to an end.”

The school board chair echoed the need for stability:  “Certainly, it takes a great number of years to regain the trust and support of the community but we’re committed to a long-term superintendent who’s committed to doing that work,” he said.

“Great!” you say. “Looks like we’re in for a dedicated new leader!”

Oh.  Wait.  Those quotes from Dr. Green were actually aired by Kansas City’s Channel 41, KSHB.  In 2012.  KSHB went on to say, “Green is eager to continue his work with KCPS.  Green is the 27th person to take the title of superintendent for KCPS in less than 43 years. He promised to stay with the district for “as long as it takes.”

Or perhaps just until a better offer comes along.

Meanwhile, as Green was selected as Missouri’s superintendent of the year and Missouri granted provisional accreditation to Kansas City Public Schools, Green, in reality, did not even come close to improving the academic performance of Kansas City students. See for yourself.  Take a look in the DSW archives at the Excel workbook regarding KC and its high schools.*

Green had far fewer high schools to improve academically — 7.  Green had far fewer students to improve academically — 14,500 (K-12).  In fact, since 2007, Kansas City has lost about 10,000 students.

Ask your board member WHY Green was the choice.  Do it now!  Send us your board member’s response and we will publish all that we receive.

For the first and probably the only time, for different reasons, we agree with Joyce Morley — except instead of abstaining from a vote we think she should take a stand and vote NO! against Green.  This floating-to-the-top selection process stinks! Things that float to the top are not always what you want for your community.

Although we are happy to see Michael Thurmond go — and not a moment too soon — we are still concerned and will continue watching.

* Please note that this is an Excel Workbook.  The first tab is for Kansas City Schools overall; there are seven more tabs in this workbook — one for each high school.

Posted in Michael Thurmond, Superintendent Search, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 33 Comments

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal Signs DeKalb Reform Bills

paddle-240eh022410We, being the problem child county, need to now have the Governor sign legislation that will ‘reform’ our county. [Sigh!] This is just embarrassing…

Produced by DCTV (DeKalb County Television) Channel 23, this video takes you inside Governor Nathan Deal’s office as he signs three important bills creating reform in DeKalb County.

Additional Information:

Governor Deal signs HB 597, HB 598, and HB 599 – to implement new financial controls and ethics oversight in DeKalb County.

If you’d like to learn more about House Bills 597, 598, and 599, go online to the Georgia Government Website at: http://georgia.gov.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments


News Release • 13 May 2015

Stephen-GreenThe DeKalb County School District has a new leader — R. Stephen Green, Ed.D., 61, superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools in Missouri, will become DeKalb’s superintendent on July 1.
Dr. Green is credited with leading KCPS back to provisional accreditation within two years of being named its superintendent in 2012. He had previously served as KCPS interim superintendent for several months. Under Dr. Green’s leadership, KCPS earned 92.5 points towards the state of Missouri’s school achievement standards in 2014. That was 8.5 points more than the school district earned in 2013, and a 54.5-point increase from the 2012 results. In August 2014, Missouri’s Board of Education recognized the district’s gains by granting KCPS provisional accreditation.
Earlier this year, he was recognized for his achievements by being named Missouri’s 2015 Pearce Award winner – “Best Superintendent of the Year” – by his peers the Missouri Association of School Administrators.
Dr. Green says he has had a great experience serving the stakeholders of KCPS, which makes the decision to leave for DeKalb difficult.
“I have had a unique and wonderful opportunity to make a difference for a deserving community and work with a great team at KCPS,” Dr. Green said. “I wish them all the best as they rise to success. I know they have the talent, focus and grit to make it happen.”
KCPS Board of Directors Chair Jon Hile thanked Dr. Green for his service and wished Dr. Green well moving forward.
“Kansas City Public Schools greatly appreciates the contributions of Dr. Green has made toward improving the educational experiences of the 15,000 children in our district,” Mr. Hile said. “The administration’s focused efforts, under Dr. Green’s leadership, have garnered attention and praise from Kansas City parents, community and civic leaders, education officials and state and local elected officials. He is leaving KCPS in better condition than when he found it and we will continue to rise.”
When DeKalb County schools approached Dr. Green about the position, the timing, opportunity and location were right. Two of his four children live in the DeKalb County region, along with three of his four grandchildren. One of those grandchildren is 3 years old and will be attending a DeKalb school.
“I am looking forward to helping lead DeKalb schools to new elevations and to being able to spend a lot of quality time with my children and grandchildren,” Dr. Green said. “These opportunities don’t come around very often and I simply could not pass it up.”
Green replaces interim superintendent Michael Thurmond who was appointed in February 2013. Thurmond took leave from the Butler, Wooten, Wooten & Peak LLP law firm to fill the temporary role and said – at the time – he had no interest in holding the position long-term.
“After a comprehensive nearly six-month search, the board has selected an experienced, well-suited educational leader to move the district forward under his successful innovative approaches to teaching and learning,” says Board Chair Melvin Johnson. “Dr. Green brings an impressive record to DeKalb not only from Kansas City, but also from New York, New Jersey and Indiana. He was a stabilizing force in Kansas City and will do the same here in DeKalb County.”

“Dr. Green is excited to come here,” Dr. Johnson says. “He has children and grandchildren here so for his family it is sort of a home coming.”
Green is former president and CEO of Kauffman Scholars, Inc., an access and graduation program aimed significantly at increasing the number of college graduates from Kansas City’s urban schools. Kauffman Scholars is a comprehensive academic enrichment and scholarship program that provides coordinated, intensive, tutoring and life skills support to students beginning in middle school and continuing through the college years.

Before joining Kauffman Scholars, he was superintendent of Community School District #28 and a local instructional superintendent in Region 3 for the New York City Board of Education. He was responsible for providing instructional leadership and support to the 34 schools in the district, and worked with a team of school administrators to ensure instructional improvement among the region’s 142 schools.

He also served as president and executive director of the New Jersey Teaching and Learning Collaborative, a not-for-profit organization founded to provide ongoing technical assistance, high quality curriculum-driven professional development, and advocacy for local and state policy reform – all toward the goal of improving teaching and learning in New Jersey’s districts.
As national executive director of the CollegeEd Program for the College Board, Dr. Green’s leadership focused on helping middle school students understand the importance of a college education and exploring available options. He has served as national executive director of school-level services, as national director of the Pacesetter Program, and as associate director for Pacesetter Planning and Development for the College Board.
He was also an assistant superintendent, high school assistant principal, and middle school assistant principal for the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence (Ind.) Township. He taught high school and college-level English literature and composition for 13 years at Pike High School, Indiana University, and Butler (Ind.) University. He has served as director of Minority Student Affairs at Butler University and as an instructional superintendent for the New York City Board of Education.
Green received a Bachelor of Science in English Literature and Composition and a Master of Arts in English Literature from Ball (Ind.) State University and his principal’s certification from Butler. He received a doctorate from Indiana University in 1995 with two majors: curriculum and instruction and education administration.

Quinn Hudson

Posted in DeKalb County [GA] Board of Education, Michael Thurmond, Superintendent Search | Tagged , , | 54 Comments

DeKalb County Commission happenings

Lots to tell on the county side of DeKalb government. After much arguing and debate, Lee May is finally stepping down from his 5th district commission seat. He had been holding two county positions (we are unsure if he was being paid for both, but doubt it). In addition to the District 5 Commission seat, he is acting as interim CEO while Burrell Ellis is on trial for bribery and other charges. May was holding tightly to his old commission seat, because if Ellis is acquitted, he will take back his CEO job, leaving May out of work. May himself has recently been the subject of a corruption investigation.

Rumors swirled that May tipped off Developer Vaughn Irons about his resignation, giving Irons a jump on the competition to run for the seat. Both deny that. [Irons has been the subject of investigations by Channel 2 concerning contracts he received from DeKalb County. Irons has maintained no wrongdoing.]

If Ellis is acquitted, and various rumors turn out to be true, the next election could see Ellis, May and soon to be former school superintendent Michael Thurmond competing for the CEO seat. We are told that Thurmond, thinking he has saved DeKalb schools, is considering trying his hand at saving the rest of the county as well.

Read more on the subject here >>
DeKalb ICEO Lee May denies tipping developer about District 5 seat resignation

Meanwhile, Lee May had harsh words for Nancy Jester, who won the election for Elaine Boyer’s old seat. According to the Dunwoody Crier,

“Boyer reported Monday to a federal prison in Marianna, Fla., to begin serving her 14-month sentence for bilking the taxpayers. She will live in a minimum-security wing of the prison and must serve at least 85 percent of her sentence. That could mean she will be released in a year.”

“Boyer is accused of using her county budget to pay a phony consultant for services never delivered and then having the man place $68,000 in her personal bank account.”

“John Boyer, her husband, awaits sentencing in August for masterminding the scheme.”

The Crier goes on to tell us about the exchanges between May and Jester >>

“Nancy Jester, who represents north DeKalb, said May did the right thing.

“From the start, I have called for Lee May to resign his District 5 seat and allow for a free and fair election for the citizens of DeKalb County,” Jester said. “No one person holds the moral authority to occupy two elected positions simultaneously. Elected positions belong to no one person, rather, they belong to the people.”

… “Due to petty personal politics and clear obstruction, three commissioners have intentionally abused the process to prevent more than 140,000 citizens from their constitutional right of representation,” said May. “These commissioners have denied the opportunity to appoint well qualified individuals to the District 5 seat and have sabotaged other efforts to reach a consensus. They have chosen to avert (sic) the will of the people.”

May left the commission seat when Gov. Nathan Deal tapped him to replace CEO Burrell Ellis when Ellis was indicted by a DeKalb grand jury. He was brought to trial for shaking down county contractors for campaign contributions but that trial ended in a mis-trial.

Ellis is set for a new trial in June. Should he be acquitted he would return to the chief executive’s job, putting May out of work, but putting May in position to run in 2016 for May’s job and take office in 2017.

READ MORE AT THE CRIER at the appropriately title article linked below >>
DeKalb’s sorry soap opera rolls on

Posted in DeKalb County, DeKalb County Commission, GA Legislature / Laws / O.C.G.A., Georgia, Michael Thurmond, Nancy Jester | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

DeKalb schools names superintendent finalist

According to the AJC, our school board plans to announce one finalist for superintendent >>

R. Stephen Green, the superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools, is expected to take over the top job for the DeKalb County School District, according to more than one person with knowledge of the search.

The school board is expected to announce Green as the sole finalist for its top job at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the district’s offices in Stone Mountain. He will take over for Michael Thurmond, who has led the district since February 2013. After the announcement of a single finalist, the district has to wait 14 days before offering a contract.

Green is currently in the middle of a five-year contract with Kansas City, which includes a three-year contract and two one-year extensions that would keep him there until June 2018. He started with the district in August 2011 as interim superintendent. He took the job permanently in 2012.

Efforts to reach Green were unsuccessful late Tuesday.

Read more about Green at AJC.com

Posted in Board of Education Meetings, Michael Thurmond, Superintendent Search | Tagged , | 37 Comments